Former US President Donald Trump has been barred from personally making a closing argument at his New York civil fraud trial due to his refusal to agree to limitations on what he could say. Judge Arthur Engoron informed Trump's lawyer, Chris Kise, that he assumed Trump would not comply with the terms imposed by the judge since he had not heard back from Kise agreeing to them. Trump had also requested a postponement of closing arguments due to his mother-in-law's death, but the judge rejected this bid.
The judge's decision came after a series of contentious emails between Engoron and Kise regarding Trump's plan to give some of the defense's closing arguments. The judge had imposed certain limitations on what Trump could say, but Kise resisted these conditions in several emails, even after being given extensions to make a decision.
Engoron expressed his frustration with Kise in an email, stating that he would not grant any further extensions. When Kise did not respond by the noon deadline, the judge assumed that Trump would not agree to the limitations and therefore would not be speaking in court.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is accusing Trump, his two adult sons, and the Trump Organization of misstating the values of real estate assets to fraudulently inflate his net worth and obtain more favorable loans and financial benefits. James is seeking a fine of $370 million and a lifetime ban on Trump working in New York's real estate industry, as well as a ban on serving as an officer or director of a New York corporation.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday.